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Guardiola setting new standards

GAME CHANGER: Pep Guardiola is raising standards according to sections of the media.

GAME CHANGER: Pep Guardiola is raising standards according to sections of the media.

Sections of the media have been effusive with their praise for Pep Guardiola after Manchester City beat Arsenal at the weekend.

Former Premier League manager Alan Pardew believes the Blues are redesigning what it means to play well, while elsewhere the intricacies of the 3-1 victory are also examined.

The one-time Crystal Palace, Newcastle and West Ham boss suggests Guardiola has made a similar impact on English football as Arsene Wenger did when he arrived.

Analysing the weekend’s action for the Daily Mail, Pardew writes: “Pep Guardiola is now setting the standards, just as Arsene Wenger did 20 years ago.

“His midfield has only one defensive player and he is taking on each fixture on the front foot.

“They have 15 straight victories in all competitions and they have a plus-31 goal difference, which underlines his offensive personnel and his use of them.

“He is setting the standard in this country and his team are a pleasure to watch."

NO MISTAKE: Sergio Aguero doubles City's lead from the penalty spot, scoring his sixth goal in his last eight matches against Arsenal.

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Over at The Independent, Jonathan Liew has penned an interesting piece in which he states City demand their opponents to be perfect if they are to get anything from the game.

Writes Liew: “While you often need everything to go perfectly to score a goal, the principles of the game are built on the fact that you do not necessarily need to play perfectly to stop one.

“Until Manchester City came along, that is.

“You get the ball. Instantly, you see Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane hunting you down.

“A few yards away, Sergio Aguero is blocking the easy pass to your right. Raheem Sterling is blocking the pass up the touchline. Can you maybe bend the ball around David Silva?

“You have fractions of a second to answer. Too late. Sane has wrapped one of his telescopic legs around yours, De Bruyne has gathered up the loose ball, and once more you are defending for your lives.

“Multiply this scenario by 10, by 100, by hundreds, and you get some idea of what playing City these days entails: a never-ending series of multiple-choice problems, each with only one perfect solution.”

Meanwhile, Fabian Delph has earned praise for the manner in which he has adopted to the previously unfamiliar left-back position.

The Guardian journalist, Jamie Jackson, is the man providing the plaudits: “Today he was the left-back in a four, and his scheming abilities were shown when spraying one diagonal ball out from defence to initiate an attack.

“As is Guardiola’s wont, too, he stepped forward from defence into Arsenal territory when possible to squeeze space.”

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